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Knowledge management within a team: Mental models of media selection for communication in a knowledge work enviroment

: Fechner, Maike
: Müsebeck, Petra

Maastricht, 2012, 70 pp.
Maastricht, Univ., Master Thesis, 2012
Master Thesis
Fraunhofer IGD ()
knowledge management (KM); case study; teamwork; communication tool; Group Communication; Business Field: Visual decision support; Research Area: Generalized digital documents

This explorative study investigates knowledge workers' mental models of communication. In particular, it examines the selection process of communication channels and influencing criteria. Guided by a qualitative case study approach the complex process of knowledge communication in a work team is observed in a real-life setting with participants experiencing a change of communication routine because two separated teams are combined to build one team. Selection of communication channel is affected by three interrelated criteria, i.e. technical characteristics, social and affective factors. Results indicate a strong influence of social environment and reveal three different user types within the observed group. Furthermore, findings suggest that media application is a relevant step in the process of knowledge management within team work because media usage and its influencing factors appear to be related to successful execution of knowledge tasks and the development of a shared knowledge base.